We’re heading down the highway from Seattle to Portland. It’s late in the day, and my goal is to have a pleasant enough trip with my reluctant tween in tow. I have a business gig on Friday and a birthday on Monday so Portland presents the perfect opportunity for a weekend getaway celebration. Except I seem to be the only one excited about getting out of town. Never fear, however. I’ve brought along a few different decks of travel cards to spark engaging conversation. My challenge is to figure out a way to have my daughter remove her iPod earphones long enough for her to actually hear what I’m saying. Hey – I can dream, can’t I?
Here’s what I brought along for entertainment: Travel Table Topics to Go, The Art of Travel Conversation and International Landmarks. Let’s start with the first one. I’ll talk about the last two card decks in separate blog posts to follow.
Travel Table Topics to Go is a series of 40 cards all related to travel that slip inside a plastic case. The cards are designed for ages 10 and up. The beauty lies in their simplicity. Each card has one question. Out of the 40 cards, 38 are presented as either Wh-questions (e.g. “What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?”) or imagination-starters (e.g. “If you could trade houses with someone for two weeks whose house would you choose?” or “If you went on a volunteer vacation, who would you most like to help?”). Only two are presented as yes/no questions, a good thing since these have the potential to be conversation-stoppers rather than conversation-starters. For instance, how do you think your teen would answer the question: “Have you ever had a psychic or out-of-body experience?” Uh-oh. On second thought, are you sure you’re ready to hear the answer to that question?